From the Archives: How to Say I Love You All Year Round

img_7482Happy Valentines Day! I’m throwing it back to a post from my archives.

What I’ve found is that the lovey dovey sentiments while in a relationship can sometimes come a little ‘easier’ when you’re dating (as opposed to in marriage.) Being married can be incredibly romantic but you might need to become a little more intentional to keep the spark turned on during some life seasons together.

So what I highly would recommend is that you don’t just do nice things for one another during the annual events like Valentines, anniversaries or birthdays. Year after year that will likely begin to feel forced. And it’s important to remember that it’s the small moments of everyday kindness that can make your spouse feel cherished and loved. Here are a few ways that I think you can say ‘ILY’ all year round, in no particular order.

  • Surprise your spouse by doing a house chore that typically falls outside of your responsibilities.
  • Go to their favorite restaurant or movie of their choice…without complaining
  • Take their car to the car wash or fill it up with gas. While you’re at it, buy their favorite car air freshener.
  • Leave a love note in their car, under their pillow, or on the bathroom mirror.
  • Send a nice text to let them know that they are on your mind during the day. This could be an emoji, a cute photo of the two of you, or a love quote or saying. You could even send a link to a song that reminds you of them.
  • Deliver a bouquet of flowers or chocolate-covered fruit to their work…not on Valentines Day!
  • Surprise them with a gift card to their favorite spa for a pedicure or massage.
  • Bring home their favorite drink from Starbucks with a hand written message on the cup.
  • Plan an entire day to getaway and drive to your favorite romantic spot.
  • Propose an impromptu dinner at the beach or visit to the local park.
  • Bake (or purchase) their favorite dessert for a normal weekday night at home.
  • Plan ahead for date night with a bottle of wine to share, either their favorite kind or one that might remind you of your wedding day or wedding location.
  • Play your favorite romantic song and ask them for a slow dance, in the kitchen.
  • An album of boudoir photos, perhaps?
  • Change up your nighttime routine and serve them in ways that they desire to be served, not the other way around.
  • Check out the app “Hotel Tonight” for an inexpensive hotel stay.
  • If you want to try something completely different, spend some time on the Groupon app for creative+local ideas that could create for a special experience!

These are just examples of small things which can truly add up to a fulfilled life with one another. I hope you can make these personal to your insidiously personalities and relationship-norms. If Valentines becomes ‘less of a big deal’ because you do these things together often; that isn’t a bad thing. Try to put a few of these into action in 2019 and just see how it goes!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Update: I’ll be taking a break from wedding content for a few months to focus on my personal life. To catch up on past content, feel free to check out the links above, and scroll down this page for other posts. If you subscribe to my blog via email then you’ll be notified when I’m back!

How to Mentally Prepare for Marriage


I recently posted about the things that I didn’t realize about marriage once I got the ring. There is so much that you don’t know when entering this new season of your life, and that’s part of the fun. If you’re serious with your boyfriend, newly engaged, or newly married, here are some tips to help set you up for success. With anything in life, success is likely going to be a result of your attitude and commitment. Here is how you can mentally prepare to be a lifelong spouse:

Remember that future decisions will need to go from an I to a We. You are now part of a two-piece puzzle and it’s crucial that you keep in mind the other piece. While it might not change specific outcomes, at least you are in it together.

While you are both part of a two-for-one, don’t lose sight of your individual self worth or independence. Becoming a “wife” or a “husband” will be a new label in your identity, but it is not all that you are. Continue with your own self-care and choose to spend time doing the things that feed your soul.

Marriage is a marathon and not a sprint. Pace yourself with your expectations, how you adapt to living with one another, and what the rest of your lives together will look like. You have time to get to know each other and create norms that you’re both comfortable with.

As my sister/Matron of Honor shared in her wedding toast: “Always remember that you’re on the same team.” There will be times that it feels like the world is against you. No matter what, know that you’re backed into a corner with your spouse. They aren’t the ones that are on a different team, they are on your team. Try to show that to one another in your words and actions.

The engagement season is a unique time in your relationship where you can look forward and plan your life together. Once that life begins, do everything you can to ENJOY and be PRESENT. You have chosen one another and that’s the best part.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Another Year Has Come to an End

It’s been another great year for me over at Girl with a Diamond Ring. This is truly a passion project for me and it’s such a fun hobby to take my mind off of ‘real life’!

I have now been married 3.5 years and am so thankful that I have my best friend by my side to endure the ups and downs of life. He always makes me laugh, with his silly dance moves and sarcastic sense of humor. He takes care of me and asks me “How can I support you?” when I’m struggling. I have had great marriage mentors, too. I have been incredibly inspired by my parents who celebrated 33 years this summer before my dad lost a quick and tragic battle to kidney cancer.

If I have learned anything through this recent season that my family has endured, it would be to hold your loved ones close and pick your battles (especially in marriage). At the end of the day, much of the stress and ‘small’ day to day things that we freak out over are not worth it. Stay present, give thanks, and let your spouse know that your life is better with them by your side.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my other social channels for GWADR, check out my regrams on Instagram from some of my favorite wedding photographers and real bride moments, and hop on over to Pinterest for my wedding theme boards and style inspiration. To catch up on my blogs, just scroll down this page!

Happy New Year: don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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‘Til Death Do Us Part

It’s been a while since I have blogged because my family is going through a hard time right now and I’ve had to reprioritize my free time. My dad is dying from cancer and will be leaving this earth to step in to eternity soon. It’s been incredibly difficult but my family is holding hands firmly every step of the way as we move through this hard season. Our bonds are strong and our faith in Christ is even stronger, so I know we’re going to be OK.

As we have been dealing with this, I have thought often about the true meaning of life, family, and marriage.

My parents celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary this summer and we knew it would be their last together here on earth. When we say “’til death do us part”, do we truly mean it? I know my parents did when they said “I do.” They meant the words of their vows with every depth of their beings and have clung to one another through every life season.

Can you say the same? Don’t let the stresses of wedding planning overshadow that special promise that you will make to one another. And when the confetti is thrown away and flowers have shriveled, will you vow to make that promise to love and care for one another over and over again?

Marriage is a gift. If you are blessed with a special someone in your life, hold them tight. Don’t forget to share your gratitude with them. And relish in each moment of your relationship, even when it’s not the most glamorous of seasons. Being married gives you the ability to have a life partner. There will be times of sickness and health, and like in my parents case this very moment, you might be given the opportunity to be with the one you love until the very end of life.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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From the Archives: An Open Letter to My Single Self


Dear me,

I know that your hearts desire is to be a wife. This is something you have hoped for and prayed for over the years. Not to be a wife, just to be a wife. But to have a life partner and companion to walk through every day adventures with you.

You’ve been single for a few years and I know that has felt lonely at times. While you had some special relationships in high school, the last one really broke your heart. You’re going to date one more guy before you find the one. He will make you more open for marriage and help you grow up.

And when you’re ready, you’ll meet your “future” when and where you least expect it. It will actually be out in public, and you’ll meet him in a way that you never had met a past mate. This will make it special and really stand out.

You’re going to fall in love quickly and date for a few years. He’ll propose later than you want him to, but it’s going to be when he’s ready. That’s most important. Give him time, because you will end up together and have a long and happy life. Marriage is going to be work but it will be the biggest blessing and a clear answer to your prayers.

In the meantime, single self, be patient. Remember that there are a few things that need to happen during this time of waiting.

  1. Get your priorities straight. Learn to love God, love yourself, and then you’ll be able to love someone else.
  2. A concept someone recently shared with me that I LOVED is to “practice” being married, even when you’re single. This might sound weird, but it’s something that’s important. Is there something you would want to do differently when you’re married? Like not being so quick to anger or needing to improve at listening? Or…making your bed daily or getting your laundry done (because soon it will be x2). It’s crucial to get into these habits now so you have less of an adjustment when you are living with someone else.
  3. Enjoy all of the alone time you have today. You’ll still have it when you get married, but it will be different.
  4. Start to look at your budget. All of the money that you’re spending on pedicures and shopping might begin to change once you have a shared bank account with someone else. Get used to saving your money now, so you have more of a foundation to bring to your marriage. When you come together, you’ll both bring some bad spending habits to your relationship, so do what you can to get ahead of this.
  5. Lastly and most importantly, don’t underestimate this: timing is key. While you might be ready TODAY to meet the one, and ready to marry him TOMORROW, he might not be ready. He is still going through life experiences right now that will prepare him to be the husband that you will need. Allow him to have this time before he comes into your life.

Marriage is a forever thing and if it is meant to be then trust that it will be. So while you dream of one day having a ring on that finger, you will get it in a few years and never ever ever have to take it off. So enjoy this time and stop freaking out over who, when, and where. You’ll end up being the happiest you’ve ever been, so get excited!

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience. – Unknown

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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